Super Eagles and Anorthosis Famagusta FC utility player Shehu Abdullahi believes the three-time African champions will improve after the 1-1 draw encounter with Corsica on Friday night.
Nigeria came from behind to force their hosts to a score draw at the Stade Francois City in Ajaccio, France.
Centre referee Hamel Johan awarded a penalty to Corsica in the 5th minute after Tyronne Ebuehi handled the ball inside the box, Jean-Jacques Mandrichi seconds later converted the spot kick to put the host in front.
Belgium star Henry Onyekuru three minutes later missed a sitter to level scores for Nigeria after Ahmed Musa found him with a pass but Onyekuru couldn’t finish with the goalkeeper at his mercy.
Soon afterwards, Ibrahim Alhassan headed over the bar from close range after a lovely delivery by Elderson Echiejile in the 24th minute. Musa also failed to score the equalizer after Alhassan’s effort was spilled by Corsica goalkeeper, Nicolas Penneteau.
Manchester City star Kelechi Iheanacho leveled scores for Nigeria late in the second half from the spot after Oghenekaro Etebo was fouled inside the Corsica box.
“I think we had a good game and the result wasn’t the reflection of the game. We were dominant and we could have scored more than one,” Abdullahi said to Naijafootballplus.com after the game from Corsica.
“Corsica gave us a good fight and the early goal gave them the confidence. We were able to shake off the early goal we conceded and dominated the game.
“The essence of the game is for us to prepare for the AFCON qualifier against South Africa and I think we had a successful practice game.
“We were able to play as a unit and the quality of play was amazing. The game is good for our preparation and I am optimistic we will improve and build positively on this performance.”
Nigeria will face Togo on Thursday, 1st June 2017 at the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris before departure to Uyo for the final phase of preparation ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa.
“We have enjoy everything Corsica could offer us and we are happy to play against such quality team. We have to regroup and focus on the next game in Paris against Togo.
“Kudos to the Federation and the coaching crew for setting up the training program and friendlies before the big game against South Africa.
“The momentum and the team spirit are gradually building up, we need to stay together as a team and continue to work hard,” Abdullahi added.